Exploring Whether or Not You Can Die From Alcohol Withdrawals

Exploring Whether or Not You Can Die From Alcohol Withdrawals

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

If you or a loved one are trying to recover from alcohol addiction, keep reading. This blog explores the question, "Can you die from alcohol withdrawal?"

Keyword(s): can you die from alcohol withdrawal

Did you know that approximately 29.5 million Americans aged 12 or older experienced alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the past year?

Alcohol addiction is one of the hardest things a person can go through. Feelings of hopelessness and depression are common, and putting down the bottle is an incredibly brave thing to do.

However, before attempting an alcohol detox, it's worth learning about the dangers associated with alcohol withdrawal. Getting clean can come with various symptoms, ranging from unpleasant to life-threatening. In this guide, we'll explain what you need to know growing forward.

So, can you die from alcohol withdrawal? Read on and learn more.

Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal is a term used to describe the symptoms experienced by heavy drinkers who abruptly stop or reduce their alcohol intake.

During prolonged or heavy periods of abuse, the brain and body become dependent on alcohol. When the drug is suddenly removed from the system, it causes a range of physical and mental reactions.

Common Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal 

If you drink any amount of alcohol on a regular basis, you'll experience a few issues if stop drinking suddenly. Some of the more minor symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anxiety and depressed mood
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Low appetite
  • Tremors and shaking
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dihereah or constipation

While these symptoms are unpleasant, they should subside within a week or so for most people.

Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?

In more extreme cases, people going through alcohol withdrawal can also experience more serious - and even life-threatening - symptoms. These include:

High Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

After quitting alcohol suddenly, heavy users may experience an extremely fast heart rate. This can lead to chest pains, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure. This is particularly dangerous for people with pre-existing heart conditions because it could lead to a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Psychological Issues

People going through heavy alcohol withdrawal may experience psychological issues, including profound confusion, auditory and visual hallucinations, clinical depression, and severe anxiety. Without the right care, these patients may pose a danger to themselves and others.


Alcohol withdrawal can cause seizures. This typically occurs anywhere between 6 to 48 hours after the last drink. Seizures, combined with the other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, can represent a medical emergency for someone in detox.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens (DTs) is a serious form of alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms include severe agitation, hallucinations, fever, rapid heart rate, and confusion. Without medical intervention DTs can be fatal. 

Getting Clean in a Safe Way

So, can you die from alcohol withdrawal? Yes - alcohol withdrawal can and does kill people. 

Those trying to get sober should only attempt to do so after speaking to a medical professional and booking into a rehab facility if they need to. There is plenty of medical support available for people who are serious about leaving alcohol behind. 

Your Alcoholics Anonymous membership puts you in a position to help people who have recently gone through withdrawal. Check out our chips and tokens today and be the shining example that inspires sobriety in others.